Sabtu, 19 Desember 2009

The Last Megalithic

Sumba almost untouched modern civilization. Here we can see many things not recorded in the tourist brochures: the tomb stone weighing 70 tons, wild horses running on the savanna, the head of the wife of a dozen tribes, villages perched on the hill, the houses tall coconut trees , as well as the funeral procession with tumbal 150 water buffaloes. The following recordings Fadil Aziz who had twice visited Sumba

Horses pony sandalwood species roamed the grasslands that are found in eastern SumbaWaktu frozen in Sumba. He was sitting 80 miles south of Flores, Indonesia imprisoned by the Sea. If the achievements of civilization in the form dikerucutkan LV bag and the BlackBerry, the Sumba is an isolated place, almost untouched, a counter-thesis "The world is flat" which concluded the Earth is no longer recognize geographical boundaries. It took six months for news of the proclamation could be heard in Sumba, as a general illustration used to describe how desolate island.

A breeze blew gently. The cold air seemed to penetrate the skin even though it was headed in the afternoon. This typical weather in Waikabubak located 600 meters above sea level. It was 18 years ago since I first set foot in the capital of West Sumba. Still wet in the memory of the scene at that time: a jumble of stone tombs, knight on horseback with a machete tucked into his waist, and draped in traditional costumes weaving.

A white stadiums now standing in front of me. Across from the church tower a few grand. A little to the south, there is a market with a row of shophouses in front of him. Deserted avenues snaking here and there. Occasionally angkot (or angdes?) Passed with the spirit kernetnya offer. Waikabubak now more of a small town than a big village. These achievements are positive, although it achieved after nearly
two decades.

Outside sweets such development, Sumba not changed much. Durable cultural purity maintained. Globalization just touching the surface. Stone tombs still standing in place. They seemed to whisper about the ancestral culture and the long procession that gave it birth. Savannah plains that still lay quiet area, complete with beautiful horses that crossed it. While the tops of towering traditional house, poking among the leaves of trees.

Regions in Indonesia are generally included in the Austronesian cultural group. However, over time, this culture eroded by the presence of Hinduism and Buddhism. What makes the special is a culture of Sumba is still relatively authentic. Some of his form is the belief of animism, ancestor worship of spirits, traditional betel nut, the use of houses on stilts, and custom carrying goods as stock tomb.

Sumba communities living in the clan named kabisu. Each clan leaders to establish a village master then down the other villages in the vicinity. In the past, the main village at war with each other. That's why some villages deliberately built on a hill in order to have a better defensive position. Often these villages surrounded by palisades of rock or a cactus thorn. The center of the village is the partly open space filled with stone graves and ancestral worship stones are sacred.

The main belief in Sumba called Marapu. "Religion" is exclusive to Sumba, not found elsewhere. The ritual was led by priests who styled rato. They hold authority in the affairs of the incantation and prayer, and as a mediator with the spirit world. In teaching Marapu, harmonious relationship with the ancestors was in number one in the list of faith harmony.

There are many rato in Sumba. This is not due to a large population, but more because each specialized in one rato ritual. Rato to different funeral rites for the celebration Wula rato Podu (new year in the calendar Marapu). Even in a large ceremonial circuit, there are a number rato each with a different mantra in every babakannya. Rato did not recognize caste, all equal. There was no discrimination between elite or village rato. At most there were only a senior rato, namely those who are elderly. This profession can not seem to ditekuni just anyone, but rather inherited by lineage. Compiling mantra each rato usually obtained from parents.

One is the use of teaching Marapu stone tomb. This tradition is said to be the cultural heritage of the Megalithic era who lived thousands of years ago. Khazanah similar culture can be found elsewhere in the archipelago. In North Sulawesi, for example, we know waruga, the stone grave of Minahasa community version. While in Toraja community to bury the body in the rock cliffs. Differences in Sumba is, the stone used is not limited to the procession of death, but also for the rituals of pilgrimage and holy days. The use of stone as a pillar of this religion that makes Sumba touted as "the living megalith culture".

The uniqueness of the tradition of Sumba stone tomb is in the size of stone used. Stone is generally used large and heavy. Stone weighing tens of tons withdrawn from the mountains to the location of the cemetery, often go through a steep uphill road. Amazingly, all this done completely rely on the aliases manually manpower. No wonder, the procession could spend months or even years. Sometimes just cutting stone for it takes two years. Thousands of men were deployed to pull the stone, while the women prepare the food logistics. A ceremony was held is not cheap by slaughtering hundreds of buffaloes, pigs and chickens, as well as serving the gods. It is said that in ancient times, slaves and slave can participate sacrificed.

A stone tomb is a square containing four to five bodies. Together they also included items such precious fabrics weaving high value, glassware, and so on. Then crushed with a stone coffin-shaped thick plates. Stone weight is usually chosen so that the grave is not easily dismantled thief. To be more safe again, usually placed in the grave yard or in the village area. If any family member who died, the stone and then opened a new body is inserted.

Coastal landscape of West Sumba

Arena rock withdrawal in Sumba is one of the cultural magnet for researchers. Anthropologists from around the world willing to charter a plane for witnessing this rare event. Now, though already done with a more modern way, the procession pull the stone tomb still attract many people.

Pemandangan pesisir Sumba Barat



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